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Asian American Theatre, Film, and Performance (Spring 2024) 

Course materials TBD

Intro to Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies (Spring 2023) 

An introductory course to theatre, dance, and performance with a focus on the body. How does the body perform, both on stage and in the everyday? How do different bodies come into contact with one another through performance? This course examines a wide range of theatre and performance, from 20th century world fairs and Broadway musicals to K-pop cover dance and public protests. We will discuss not only how performance shapes and constructs social hierarchies (such as race, gender, and sexuality), but also how feminist, queer, trans, and/or artists of color stage refusals and build alternative worlds in the face of injustice.

Course Objectives: 

  • To introduce key components and concepts in contemporary U.S. theatre field and performance studies.

  • To recognize the roles of the body in theatre, dance, and performance as mediums for (re)staging politics on race, gender, and sexuality.

  • To introduce and practice skills of close reading and writing performance critiques.

  • To cultivate and practice active listening, asking critical questions, and offering collective care in the classroom space.

Selected Course Materials:

  • David Henry Hwang. M Butterfly

  • Lin-Manuel Miranda. Hamilton

  • Emma Sulkowicz. Carry That Weight

  • Elinor Fuchs. “EF’s Visit to a Small Planet.”

  • Diana Taylor. “Framing Performance” and “Acts of Transfer”

  • Uri McMillan. “The Curious Case of Joice Heth”

  • Lindsay Lachance. “Tiny Sparks Everywhere: Birch Bark Biting as Land-Based Dramaturgies.”

Intro to Acting:
Performance as Practice (Fall 2023 and Spring 2022) 

Intro to Acting: Performance as Practice is an introductory studio-based course to approach the practice of making performance. From staged plays and performance arts to theatre for social change and everyday life, we will explore how we are already performing in our lives as well as the ways we could use performance to activate the spaces we move through. We will pay attention to how artists act, perform, entertain, resist, heal, repair, and build communities through performance practices. How does one create an action? How does one use performative strategies to engage with and challenge hierarchies of racial and gendered differences? How does one connect artistic practices and social activism? These performance methods include breaths, games, image theater, gestures, movements, and documentary performances, etc. Throughout the course, we will manifest these methods through embodied activities as well as solo and collaborative performance projects.

Course Objectives: 

  • Pay attention to breaths and performance in our daily lives

  • Gain confidence in expressions through speech and performance 

  • Understand and practice various methods of doing performance: Theatre of the Oppressed, performance art (i.e., durational performance), and documentary theatre. 

  • Create solo and collaborative socially engaged performances by working with breaths, speech, objects, gestures, bodies, space, games, images, and/or time, etc. 

  • Demonstrate knowledge of key concepts within the field of theatre and performance studies such as performance, spectatorship, corporeality, and embodiment, etc. 

  • Make connections between performance as well as students’ own lives and fields of study. 


Selected Course Materials: 

  • Anna Deavere Smith. Fires in the Mirror 

  • Marina Abramović. An Artist’s Life Manifesto

  • Hsieh Tehching. One Year Performance

  • Augusto Boal. Poetics of the Oppressed

  • Mojisola Adebayo and Mamela Nyamza. I Stand Corrected

  • Kama La Mackerel. Un/Freeze and Zom-Fam


Assignment Example: Doing Time Performance 

  • Inspired by Tehching Hsieh’s One Year Performance, this assignment asks students to create a 10-hour durational performance. While being aware of the relationship among audience, performance, and space, you are also doing time. Doing time asks us to experience time differently. 

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